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Drunk driver gets up to four years for City Island hit

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A drunk driver who slammed into a young woman on City Island is now serving a prison sentence of up to four years.

Emily Sexton, a 17-year-old senior at Preston High School was waiting for a bus when she was struck by a pick-up truck making a U-turn near the corner of City Island Avenue and Fordham Street on November 13, 2010.

The driver of the pick-up truck, Peter Wolfman of Tamarac, Florida, pled guilty to one count of vehicular assault in the second degree and was sentenced to one and a third to four years in prison on Thursday, July 14.

When he was arrested at the scene, he was legally intoxicated and had cocaine residue in his blood, according to police.

“We feel that justice was served properly with the July 14 sentencing of Peter Wolfson,” the Sexton family said in a statement on Friday, July 15. “We do not call what happened to our daughter Emily an accident. One chooses to drive a vehicle. If you are drunk or high on drugs and you drive, that’s a crime, not an accident.”

Emily was pinned to the wall of a local store by Wolfman’s pickup truck after he lost control and drove onto the sidewalk. This caused Emily to sustain multiple leg fractures, 13 broken ribs, an arm fracture, and multiple organ injuries, some of which are permanent, according to the Bronx DA’s office.

Wolfman had been drinking at the Library Bar at 316 City Island Avenue prior to the accident, the District Attorney’s office stated.

The statement from the Sexton family acknowledged Wolfman’s apology in court and said that it meant a great deal to them. It stated that the family wished that he used his time in prison to come to grips with drinking and drug use and prepare himself for when he is released.

“On November 13, two lives were spared, our daughter’s, and in fact, Peter Wolfman’s,” the statement read. “Yesterday’s sentencing would have been very different if he had killed her.”

Emily Sexton graduated from Preston High School after two and a half months of medical treatment, physical and occupational therapy, the family said. When she graduated, she received the Courage Award from Preston at their commencement.

She plans on attending Adelphi University in the fall, and is interested in a career in the health sciences.

The City Island community rallied behind Emily, and her family also thanked the community for its support. Several blood drives were organized in her honor on the island in the months following the accident.

“We are glad that this incident is behind us,” Emily’s father, David Sexton, said.

Updated 5:11 pm, October 21, 2011
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